Upstream migration of hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) towards Hakaluki haor: A case study
Keywords:Upstream migration, Hilsa, Tenualosa ilisha Hakaluki Haor
Hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) fishery contributes around 1% to the national GDP of Bangladesh. Based
on a fieldwork the study explored the underlying causes and pathways of Hilsa migration towards Hakaluki
Haor and status of Hilsa fishing. To collect empirical data a number of qualitative tools such as interviews,
focus group discussion and oral history from different stakeholders were employed. The study identified,
though unusual fisher have been netting Hilsa abundantly on early monsoon in Hakaluki haor since 2016. Due
to flash flood in the Hakaluki Haor and storm water flows down to the Meghna River through Kushiyara
River, hilsa swims against the tide and enters into Hakaluki Haor from the upper Meghna river system. Early
flash flood, storm water flows and government’s initiative of imposing ban on Hilsa fishing during spawning
season in upper Meghna sanctuary were found to be the major causes of migration towards Hakaluki Haor.
As impose of ban on fishing of Hilsa increased the total production, abundance of Hilsa in Hakaluki Haor act
as an indicator of total inland Hilsa production in Bangladesh. The weight of Hilsa species caught from
Hakaluki varied from 200 g to 900 g and rarely found 1 kg. The length ranges varied between 10 cm to 30
cm. The average price was BDT 300-500/Kg. A well-structured marketing channel of Hilsa was identified.
The study found some major threats to hilsa population in Hakaluki Haor and made some recommendations to
ensure safe migration and conserve migratory Hilsa population in Hakaluki Haor.